Put on by Food Blogger Connect, the students feasted on Middle-Eastern food and high-end Asian each night of the two-day workshop. The second day featured photography and recipe writing tips by Ellen Silverman and Martha Holmberg.
I listened from the other side. I was a magazine editor for years. I rewrote and reworked my writer’s stories in every issue. One guy wanted to go over every single edit, including grammatical ones. He didn’t last long. Most of the other writers just accepted my work, and they were the ones I hired over and over.
So when do you shut up and when do you say something, when an editor changes your piece in ways that make you crazy? From an editor’s standpoint, I have five suggestions:
1. Analyze the changes. Most edits are tweaks to tighten and enliven the piece, improve clarity, or to better reflect the voice of the publication. You might not like them, but you can live with them. Learn from the edits so you can do a better job next time.
2. Pick your battles. If an editor changed the meaning or emphasis of your work, or inserted inaccurate material, you have a case.
3. Be polite and thorough. In an email, make a clear argument with up to three points of disagreement. Don’t call and don’t make accusations. If you write down how you would like the sentences rephrased, it’s easier to cut and paste.
4. Accept change graciously whenever possible, and move on. This guy did not, which is what inspired me to write this post. Obviously, he had a point and an axe to grind. Don’t blast your story all over social media unless you want editors everywhere to wonder if you will be difficult.
5. Decide whether to keep writing for the editor. The freelancer I coached decided not to pitch more stories, because she felt resentful. That’s the right decision, because her attitude would come through. I have had disagreements with editors as a freelancer too, but we worked them out and continued working together. I’m not saying I’m right — maybe I just have a higher tolerance for changes, having been on the other side.
My techie husband built my old website at least a decade ago in Dreamweaver, an Adobe web design tool. It served me well over the years, but I got frustrated trying to update it. I didn’t understand HTML code, tables or how to repair all the bad things that happened when I pressed the wrong button. My website languished.
Several kind people inferred that my website needed a facelift. I was too terrified to do act. I’d heard horror stories about the time sink. I pushed it off. For years.
Finally, a colleague told me about a good experience she’d had with a designer. Plus I loved the clean, strong design of her blog. I took the plunge. It was time to move to an all WordPress website.
The designer and I worked together on several drafts. That was the fun part. I won’t bore you with what
Why do so many recipes fail to specify the amount of salt? Why do recipes say to season with salt when you can’t know if you’re adding the right amount? Why do recipes say to add salt at the wrong time?
As you know, I have opinions on recipe writing, and specifying salt is no exception. Here’s my take on where many recipes go wrong, and how to fix them:
1. Adding “to taste” to salt in the ingredients list. The ingredients list comes before
A guest post by Kitty Morse
As a cookbook writer with nine books under my belt, I always harbored a desire to write a memoir centered around Dar Zitoun, the riad that my father willed my brothers and me 50 miles south of my native Casablanca. I fantasized about writing my own story, free of editorial constraints such as word counts. But how? I was just a cookbook writer.
Frances Mayes’ bestselling Under the Tuscan Sun provided the impetus I sought. Her stories of restoring a Tuscan farmhouse struck me as similar to those I experienced at Dar Zitoun. I too was living on two continents and learning to deal with
Whatever the reason, it’s always exciting to see a new crop of magazines. Here’s a short list of what emerged recently, followed by tips on how to pitch:
- Alo. A Middle Eastern lifestyle and culture magazine with a food section.
- ACQTaste (As in “Acquired Taste”). A Canadian journal of food culture and lifestyle, focusing on chefs and restaurants, not necessarily in Canada. A recent issue focused on New York food artisans and chefs.
- Cherry Bombe. Here is a bi-annual magazine that celebrates women, high fashion, art and food. Issue one includes articles on food stylist Victoria Granof, pit master
A while ago I decided to start sharing links from my quarterly newsletter.
The post was so successful, ricocheting around Twitter and Facebook, that I’ve decided to post a list after each newsletter comes out.
So, in the meantime, sign up for the Will Write for Food newsletter. You’ll get only four emails per year, with the next one at the end of September. It’s filled with useful info for food